One of my treasured possessions as a child was a portable shortwave radio. For such a small thing it seemed quite capable of picking up stations all over the globe. I spent countless hours slowly turning the dials from one station to another, and tuning into the multitude of voices and musics of the world.
Like any shortwave enthusiast, I soon discovered and was enchanted by those odd transmissions of recorded voices uttering sequences of numbers, often alternating with little melodies or series of tones. I learned that these stations had something to do with international espionage, which lent a certain spooky glamour to them.
Many were the nights I'd bring my radio to bed with me and seek out a numbers station, then let these mysterious sounds lull me to sleep. To me, they were just enchanting patterns, like music, and I did not care what they meant or for whom they were intended.
Similarly, I enjoyed the sounds of the spaces between stations, or the highly distorted signals carried from a great distance. I found these crackles, oscillations and muffled communications quite fascinating and pleasant.
This piece, nearly an hour long, is a generative work using recordings from shortwave radio, including numbers stations, as source material. The goal was to create something abstract and soothing, an interpretation of and tribute to the sounds I long ago fell asleep to. My memories of those experiences are certainly the deepest roots of my aesthetic as a sound artist. --CP McDill